With Brazil aiming to claim a place in the semifinals of the World Cup with a win over Colombia in Fortaleza, Neymar has praised James for his performances in the competition – but is hoping that he and his teammates will be able to put an end to his fine tournament on Friday.
"I knew he [Rodriguez] was a great player before all this, and he's been showing all his talent in this [World] Cup," Neymar said.
"Colombia are a great team, they've been winning a lot, showing very strong power during the matches. James is an excellent player: he's a star, although he's very young, 22 like myself. He's been showing the great player that he is and we have to congratulate him for everything he's done.
"But I hope his cycle ends in this World Cup now and that Brazil may continue – with all due respect, of course."
When asked which of the two players was better, Neymar said: "I don't know, I can't tell you that, but I hope Brazil overshadow him. Not just me, but the entire team."
The Barcelona forward has been integral to his side’s progression to this stage of the competition despite being under huge pressure.
And Neymar has admitted that he would rather forsake individual accolades in return for Brazil winning a sixth title, describing appearing in his first World Cup as a "dream."
"On my first press conference here I said I didn't want to be the Golden Boot of the competition, that's not what I was after. I just want to be champion. If I play nothing in the next match and Brazil win 1-0, that's all I want. It will be fine by me," he said.
"Of course there's pressure in a World Cup, but to me, this is a dream. It's something I've always wanted, since I was a kid, when I saw Ronaldo with his hairdo scoring goals. I used to think to myself, I want to play in a World Cup, I want to be like Ronaldo, I want to win a world title.
"And now I'm here. I don't have to keep thinking about the pressure, I have to enjoy it. We can overcome all this, we're playing at home, with our families and friends on the stands, and every supporter is on our side."